Wednesday, August 25, 2010


So e-books.  I’ll admit, I’m intrigued, curious even, but I’m not about to trade out my entire library for a digital edition where available (unlike my music collection which is now more useful and enjoyable as a result of its digitalness).  Why?  My name is Jenn and I am a book-o-holic.  The proof: afriend of mine gives me a gift card to a bookstore for my birthday and Christmas specifically to “feed my addiction.” Yes, he’s an enabler, but he’s my enabler.

E-books are a pretty cool thing.  I’ve read a few and have used them for assignments, but as I said above, I’m a book lover.  Some say it’s a romantic notion to talk about the way books feel or smell or the joy of finding the right one.

My tendency is to scan shelves looking for interesting spines to make a selection.  I’ve admitted before that I do tend to judge books by the cover too, but I don’t see how the act of searching a shelf or display really translates to the digital world.  Yes you can scan through book covers like album covers on an iGizmo, but there really is much more to it than that.  There’s something about finding the right book and having in your hand. I love passing some of my favorite books to friends and family after I’ve enjoyed them, but digitally that’s not allowed. 

Anyway, one problem I’ve found with scanning covers like albums is that you get no real sense of the book.  I’ve added books my TBR pile based on descriptions and covers only to find that they didn’t really interest me.  If I were to purchase a ebook based on those factors, about half the time (maybe even more), I'd be disappointed and couldn’t even pass it along to someone else you might enjoy it.

Need an example of how cover browsing doesn’t work? Borders claims to have over a million ebook titles to browse, but, let’s face it, the narrowing features kind of suck.  Ebooks >> teens >> fiction = Ruby Lu, Brave and True, a funny and charming chapter book about an eight year old magician.  Uhhh....what?  Also I don’t want to look through pages and pages and pages and pages of titles.    Books on a shelf have a limit and, for the most part, are shelved in the correct area.  So what about all those books that don’t appear on shelves? Hopefully they have really good marketing campaigns so I learn about them.  Also through the blogs I follow, I learn about a lot of interesting new books.

Of course, he's in his jammies!
Finally, judging from all the book-buying that goes on as listed in  IMM posts and from my last trip to the bookstore with friends (2 people = 8 books), books aren’t as close to extinction as some like to imagine.  I will agree that the book as we know it is undergoing a change, an evolution, if you will, but evolution does not equal death. Even Captain Picard still has printed books that he actually reads when every known piece of knowledge is loaded on the computer (Yep, I realize I just totally upped my nerdy-ness and should start watching something besides Star Trek: The Next Generation in my free time).

So I might end up with a digital  book reader someday, but for now I’ll stick with books just the way they are. 

1 comment:

  1. I love this Jenn. I love books myself and wish I could have my own library room in my house. Maybe when the kids move out. Having said that, I am longing for an ebook reader. I just like it's portableness! I, too, judge a book by it's cover and nothing really will ever replace the feel of a good book in your hands. Still, I tend to go on author trends so those would probably be the books I purchase. BTW I saw that episode too with Jean Luc too.


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